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Foreign Ministry: China's Defence Policy Defensive (07/116/02)

China reiterated on July 15 that its defence policy was defensive and urged the United States not to send the "wrong message" to Taiwan separatists.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan was responding to a Pentagon report sent to the US Congress on Friday, entitled The Military Power of the People's Republic of China.

Kong said that Beijing insisted on the principles of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems," as well as the eight proposals on the development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits and the promotion of peaceful reunification put forward by President Jiang Zemin.

The Pentagon report said: "Preparing for a potential conflict in the Taiwan Straits is the primary driver for the Chinese mainland's military modernization.

"While it professes a preference for resolving the Taiwan question peacefully, Beijing is also seeking credible military options."

The Pentagon added that the Chinese mainland's modernization of its armed forces, weaponry, pilot training, tactics and command and control are beginning to erode Taiwan's qualitative edge.

But Kong responded: "China is a peace-loving country whose national defence policy is defensive."

China has never taken part in any arms race, and its defence spending is the lowest of the world's largest countries, he said.

He noted that China's development and progress have brought the Chinese people well-being and also promoted peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. And China hopes the US Government can abide by the principles of the three joint communiques and play a constructive role to help China realize peaceful reunification.

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